Immigration is a sensitive issue in many countries; the recently concluded United Stated presidential elections saw a divided opinion between the candidates expressing their agenda on the issue. In the US and across Europe many countries are now faced with illegal and legal immigration and it has impact on the economy and the job market. It is important to re-look at immigration with a view of establishing its impact on the country’s economy.
Meissner (6) ponders on the benefit of immigration in the host country. Immigration has lead to increased productivity in the US; the growth in the economy has made companies look for the required skills which at times cannot be met by the native workers thus the need for outside skill (Meissner 8). Second, immigration has lead to a highly competitive labour market and has made the US retains its competitive advantage. Moreover, research has shown that many immigrants tend to be self-employed and as a consequences created jobs for native workers. Third, immigration has encouraged a dynamic society where people interact learn new cultures and life styles, for instance, the food industry has exposed Americans to new delicacies (Meissner 11). Technical skills have enabled companies built skyscrapers among other developments.
Immigration has received its fair share of criticisms. First, the problem with illegal immigration which has exposed the country to insecurity issues stretched social amenities border problem among others. Illegal immigrant workers have made labour market cheaper and resulted to low wages which has a direct consequences in the average life of the native-born workers. Another problem caused by immigration has been a problem on integration between the native citizens and the immigrant workers (Meissner 19).
As a result of rise in immigration, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has held consultative meetings to discuss immigration in these countries (OECD 1). Immigration has led to changes in the labour markets, migrant contribute significantly to flexibility across Europe, and moreover, young migrants are more educated similarly to native workers. On a revenue front, the host countries are able to generate more taxes. The migrant s have contributed to affordable labour, maintained the level of human capital thus increased economic growth.
An immigration issue covers several types of migrants; as such labour migrants have enjoyed favourable terms because of the fiscal advantages compared to humanitarian migrants (OECD 2). Labour migrants arrive in these countries with a skill edge sometimes better and efficient in contrast to the native born workers. On the other hand, immigrants are availed an opportunity not only to access better social services but earn reasonable wages to improve their lives.
An important concern on many of these countries has been the fiscal impact on the economy (OECD 3). Ordinarily in several countries the immigrant worker has a lower net fiscal compared to the native-born worker, the scale is even worse when the migrant is semi illiterate.
In a conclusion, there is need for a new policy that has to be implemented to tackle immigration issues. The policy could be crucial in strengthening US relationship with other countries thus a wholesome system of foreign policy. A domestic policy should include an up to date data on all labour immigrants and humanitarian immigrant, with proper documentation. This will help the country plan and reduce the over-burdened system and manage immigration effectively.
Meissner, Doris, Meyers, W Deborah, Michael Fix. Immigration and America’s Future: A New Chapter. Migration Policy Institute. 2006
OECD. Migration Policy Debates. 2014